The guys of The Fosters can certainly be a clueless bunch.
Some of them mean well, but they definitely clashed with the ladies and had some frustrating moments. Who were the worst offenders? Robert and Gabe, of course.
On The Fosters Season 5 Episode 2, there was an invasion of the birth dads and their unsolicited opinions.
Kerr Smith was back as the silver-haired fox and biological dad we love to hate (or hate to love) depending on the plot. Although, he'll always be Dawson Creek’s Jack McPhee to me.
This time around, Robert was endearing and nowhere near the smug, judgmental, overbearing guy as he typically comes across. This Robert genuinely wants to be a part of Callie's life and help out however he can.
The party he orchestrated was a pleasant, albeit ill-timed, surprise. He even kept it on The Fosters‘ turf and kept it casual. That was huge for someone with such a lavish lifestyle. The only sibling missing was sweet Sophia.
Robert: I know she made a couple of mistakes--
Stef: Well, she keeps making the same mistakes, and we should in no way celebrate them.
It was absolutely precious how excited he was to transport Callie back and forth to Art school. He was over the moon with moms allowing him to be around more to help out with Callie.
It's understandable that Callie's annoyed that he uses money and connections to get whatever he wants. It’s one of his most off-putting qualities. Robert meant well this time, and he is clearly learning from his errors.
He’s a lot more relaxed than he used to be, and he didn’t write a check to buy off the professor. It’s a vast improvement for him. It was difficult to not feel for the guy when he was trying to figure out his boundaries while bonding with Callie.
It especially was sad when he was left out of the hug action between moms and Callie. I’ll hug you, Robert.
Gabe was having a tougher time than Robert. He’s so clearly confused all of the time, and he has not figured out how to avoid overstepping.
Mariana must have gotten her gift of blab from her father because Gabe is the worst at keeping secrets. Gabe not wanting to lie to Jesus about his possible status is understandable.
Jesus: Since I got this TBI, people treat me like I'm special needs.
Gabe: Talk to your moms.
Jesus: All they do is lie to me and keep secrets. Just tell me.
He even had a valid point when he said keeping the truth from Jesus flat out doesn’t go well based off of what happened with Emma. However, he overstepped when he told Jesus after Stef specifically told him not to say anything.
The twins keep using him to play against one another, and Jesus uses him to go against moms. No one wins here, but it’s awkward for the guy who doesn’t know what his role is in the situation and visibly appears out of place.
Gabe is not the twins' parent; Stef and Lena are. Their parenting decisions are all on them, and he doesn’t/shouldn't have much say in the matter. Gabe is torn between being a father with no real experience, rights, or say, and being a friend. He has to find a way to balance that out better.
That being said, it was irritating that he was lumped into a similar category as Robert. Robert intentionally went after Stef and Lena. He questioned their ability to parent, undermined them at every turn, and wanted custody of Callie.
Meanwhile, Gabe just wants a place to sleep and chance to bond a little with the twins when they initiate it.
It's also not cool that moms agreed to have him in the garage apartment, but they’re kind of holding that over his head and reminding him that he isn’t exactly welcome. Uncomfortable much?
If you cannot respect our authority as the twins' parents, I'm going to have to ask you to leave.Stef [to Gabe]
The family dynamics of a blended, adopted family continue to be fascinating. There is no right or wrong way to do things, and everyone is just figuring it out as they go.
Jesus, on the other hand, is doing all of the isolating. He appeared contrite at the end of the fosters 5 1, regarding Brandon's room. Now, he’s back to giving Brandon the cold shoulder. There is no love lost between the brothers right now, and that’s disheartening, to say the least.
He is also pulling away from Mariana, which is harder to watch than his tension with Brandon. He wasn’t wrong about Mariana having a tendency of taking over. But it was still awful that she was trying to help him because she loves him, and he just cast her to the side.
Jesus: I'm going to ask Emma to do it with me if that's okay?
Mariana: You already said you didn't want to do it with me. So why are you asking? Just do what you want.
It’s not fun watching Jesus distance himself from his siblings, nor is it fun to watch his siblings appear afraid of his outbursts. Emma is too. The difference is Emma isn’t tied to him. She’s not obligated nor expected to stand by him the same way as his family.
He wants to do this project with Emma, and at the moment, it appears Emma wants to distance herself. She’s not a bad person for considering it. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with, especially a young girl who is possibly still dealing with her latest decision.
The care the show is putting into this TBI storyline is incredible, as is Callie's growth coming to a head.
Stef was not letting Callie off the hook, and regardless of how Callie felt about it or misinterpreted it, she needed that consistency and tough love.
Callie didn’t follow up with the art professor. Shocker. She rarely prioritizes what she needs versus what she feels she has to do. Art School is the opportunity of a lifetime; hell, she lives with a guy who squandered his opportunity of a lifetime, and yet, once again, she was standing in her own way.
Callie: When you first met me, you told me that I wasn't disposable, and I'm really trying to believe that.
Lena: We don't want you to throw away your past, Callie. We just want you to stop repeating it.
Stef: We want you to be safe, Callie. We want you to be 17. You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
She didn’t realize that she needed a portfolio, but instead of working on one, she was ready to give up right there. She was willing to toss out her senior project piece like it (and her past) was trash. Then, when she reconsidered everything, she didn’t even think to check back in to retrieve the piece before it was too late. Thank God for Lena.
She half-assed her first assignment when she shadowed Ximena. She was willing to give up so easily when it was something that could positively affect her future. It was maddening watching it all unfold.
She mistook Stef being hard on her as rejection and a sign that she needed to be a different person. Despite Stef fighting like hell to track her down, she thought moms were giving up on her and felt she was disposable.
It was such a teenage “Oh, Callie” response. Fortunately, as The Fosters is known to do, it ended with hugs, feels, and an allergy flair up because the room suddenly got dusty during that scene. Did yours get dusty, too?
The best thing about Callie’s new path is that more attention can be spread elsewhere. Praise The Fosters gods, that includes moms!
The talk of new neighbors, while amusing and adorably domestic, didn’t hit the mark because we knew nothing of their neighbors before this. Obviously, this family is the best ever, but they can’t be easy to live next to, let’s be real.
Stef's run-in with Mr. Bayfield was cute. They bonded over their mutual distaste for their rude neighbor, and he offered to fix the fence on his dime. Win. Lena’s run-in with Tess, however, was tense, uncomfortable, and left Mama a bit salty.
Tess unknowingly bashing Lena's school is the first impression she made with Lena. Based off of that super awkward exchange on the Bayfield’s doorstep, that impression may not improve.
So, who is Tess? Well, if you need a refresher, Tess was brought up way back in season one. Back then, Stef confronted her father about forcing her to go to sessions with their minister in hopes of “praying away the gay.”
Tess was Stef's best friend in high school whom her father caught her snuggling with before he shipped her off to speak with a priest.
Tess must be the first girl that Stef had feelings for when she was a kid. She certainly has a type. Were the feelings mutual? Does Mr. Bayfield know? Why did Stef and Tess fall out of touch?
There are so many questions. Bring on the drama and angst. This is the content I am here for!
- So, Grace was the girl in the promo trying to seduce Brandon. Thank God. Ten points to Grace being bold enough to make that attempt even though it backfired. Five point deduction for her making him come after he told her he had a job interview.
- Drew is the worst. He's the absolute worst. Just how often will he blame any and everything on one of Lena's children? He sounds like a villain from Scooby Doo. He would have gotten away with privatization if it weren’t for those pesky kids.
- Jude and Taylor are adorable friends, but when does Noah come back?
- We're finally back to a normal amount of family angst and drama and it’s refreshing.
- Ximena is such an interesting character. It would be nice if she sticks around and continues to mentor Callie. Their relationship could do wonders for Callie as she continues to grow and pursue her art career.
- Mike has been M.I.A, too, but hats off to Danny Nucci for directing the episode.
So, Foster Fanatics, what did you think of "Exterminate Her"?
Will Emma give up on Jesus? What are your thoughts on Jesus alienating himself from his siblings? Are you pleased with Callie's new path? Are Gabe and Robert overstepping? What’s on the horizon for Stef, Lena, and Tess?
Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.